Divorce: Collaborative Law gives a divorcing couple the opportunity to tailor an agreement to their own specific concerns in a respectful and deliberate manner. It supports the value of each family member. It is a way to resolve differences, while allowing each person to participate in the important decisions being made, as opposed to the decision being made by a judge in a court room. The lawyers for both the husband and wife agree to assist his or her client to resolve conflicts by employing cooperative techniques rather than adversarial strategies and litigation. The parties commit themselves to achieving a negotiated outcome, using problem solving strategies that can be employed if future disputes occur.
Legal Separation: Many couples begin this process with a breakdown in their ability to communicate, negotiate, or focus on the future. Through the modeling of effective communications and interest-based negotiation that occurs between the attorneys, the couple has the ability to develop similar skills, which will benefit them greatly through the process of legal separation and will develop a good framework if the matter progresses to divorce, or the couple reconciles.
Child Custody and Visitation: Collaborative Law offers a new way of resolving disputes. It represents a fundamental change in how families can cooperatively resolve their differences, which is particularly important when children are involved. Not only does this process work for the interest of the children, it significantly reduces cost and stress. Scientific research tells us that ongoing parental conflict is the single most likely factor to harm children of divorce. Collaborative Law reduces that conflict, keeping the parents in charge of the decision-making without the children being drawn into the situation.
Child Support: The parties in Collaborative Law use a non-adversarial manner that employs the interest-based negotiations and neutral experts to determine what is in the best interests of the children. Using Collaborative Law for determining child support promotes honesty, mutual respect and dignified behavior. The parties settle issues based on compromise and fair play that is responsive to each individual’s specific needs as opposed to having a judge make a final decision based upon the “norm.” Spousal Support and Alimony: Collaborative Law allows a dignified resolution of conflicts regarding spousal support and alimony in a way that maximizes each party’s goals. Typically, it is less costly than litigation as the parties usually use an informal information gathering process that is also private and confidential.
Property Division: Property division using the Collaborative Law process is a win-win situation. The parties share experts such as real estate appraisers, certified public accounts and other needed individuals with specialized skills, which cuts the cost very significantly. No information is hidden as the parties agree to full and candid disclosure. Further, the process is conducted in private, with the exception of the final divorce and property settlement agreement becoming an order of the Court.
Modification of Court Orders: Collaborative Law can assist parties in post-divorce disputes. This allows the parties to control the process and go beyond the limited range of outcomes generally available in the court system. Creativity and individualized outcomes are the hallmark of Collaborative Law.
Pre-Marital Agreements: The Collaborative Law process works well as couples settle issues prior to marriage. It also gives the couple an avenue for resolving their differences that occur after the marriage, using productive, non-accusatory methods. The lawyers will assist the parties in determining the information both parties need in order to reach an informed agreement that meets the statutory criteria. Each party can voice opinions and concerns in a non-threatening, supportive environment.
Paternity: Collaborative Law creates a much friendlier environment than the litigation process as two families assume new roles and integrate. This makes life easier for the child as well as parents who are also often youthful and need support of everyone involved.
For more information visit the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals at